Please allow me to ask a silly question.
There's an expression "Thank you very much." in English.
I think it originally comes from "I/We thank you very much." I understand that 'I' or 'we' is omitted/implied there.
There's also an informal expression "Thanks a lot."
I've never thought about the construction seriously, but now, I've noticed it is grammatically strange.
It really confuses me when I think of the "s" in "thanks". It could be either "the third person singular" or "the plural".
I feel the latter is more likely. However, if it were the latter, it should be "a lot of thanks" or "many thanks", not "thanks a lot". How interesting language is!
Well, anyway, please look at the expressions below.
Are they both acceptable/natural? (I don't think so. The second might be probably...OK?)
1. Thank you a lot.
2. Thanks very much.
Last edited by tzfujimino; 26-Sep-2012 at 17:51.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
I found this nugget on Google "books":
Thank you [is] shortened to thanks but intensified as thanks a lot.
Source: Philogica Pragensia (Volume 28), 1985.
"Thanks very much" is used a lot in BrE.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
Grammatically, thanks is usually classified as an interjection, which may or may not help with your thinking about it- it is an odd form to me too.